Tag Archives: chocolate

Classic Chocolate Mousse

Adapted from Bon Appetit (where their picture is SPECTACULAR and just wants to make me dive right into the photo with my mouth open), this is not for the faint-hearted or diet-conscious eater. Nor is it for someone that wants a “quick chocolate mousse” – it takes several processes to get this divine dessert, just right: decadently chocolately and rich at the same time as being lighter than air. I reduced the coffee because I want the coffee to boost the chocolate flavour, and I found that at 1/4 cup, it almost overpowered the chocolate flavour. I also doubled the salt from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 because I think salt makes desserts and other sweets taste better.

Ingredients makes six small teacups/ramekins

  1. 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream (you can use cooking or whipping cream)
  2. 4 large egg yolks
  3. 1/8 cup espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
  4. 3 tbls sugar, divided into 2tbls and 1 tbls
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped
  7. 2 large egg whites
  8. 1/4 cup whipping cream to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill
  2. Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large metal bowl
  3. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and cook, whisking constantly until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume (about 1 minute)
  4. Remove bowl from pan
  5. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth
  6. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature
  7. Using an electric beater with clean, dry beaters, beat egg white in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy
  8. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 tbsp sugar
  9. Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form
  10. Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions
  11. Fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend
  12. Divide mousse among six teacups or 4-oz. ramekins
  13. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours
  14. DO AHEAD: Mousse can be made 1 day ahead; cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving
  15. Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse

Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction, I found the most amazing recipe for the super-chocolately chocolate cupcakes. Sally has kindly done all the hard work, testing various recipes, before landing on this as the best recipe.

The cake is not overly dense, yet super moist. The icing thicker than buttercream. And the combination of these two is truly sublime. I found Valrhona chocolate powder in my local cake shop (Sia Huat on Seah Street) which I think made them even more decadent.

I added an extra pinch of salt to both the cake mix and the icing because I personally love that salty/sweet combination. And I needed an extra 5 minutes in the oven for them to be perfectly cooked.

Ingredients makes 12 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  9. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  10. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 cup buttermilk*
Dark Chocolate Frosting
  1. 2 and 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  2. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  4. 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time. You may also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop. Stir until smooth and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.
  5. Add the cooled butter/chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Stir until just combined; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.
  7. Divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  9. For the frosting: Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.
  10. With a handheld of stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy – about 2 minutes.
  11. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  12. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with dragées or chocolate chips if desired.

Notes

*Room temperature eggs are required for this recipe. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes.

*Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.


Chocolate pots with toasted marshmallow

I had no idea what a s’more was until I read this gorgeous post from Kay at Pure Complex. A quick search online told me that it was a traditional American campfire snack of chocolate with toasted marshmallow, sandwiched between two graham crackers.

There was something appealing about the combination of textures and flavours, and the pictures were too damn cute for me not to want to try it.

My recipe below pretty closely follows the recipe and recommendations from Raspberri Cupcakes to make espresso cup-sized rich, creamy chocolate pot de crèmes with a fluffy meringue topping that has been toasted, served with digestive biscuits. You really don’t need any more than this size, and it’s a really lovely end to dinner.

Before I was let loose with my blowtorch

Ingredients makes 6 espresso cup-sized desserts

  1. 100g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa)
  2. 150ml pouring cream
  3. 1 tbsp freshly brewed coffee
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 25g caster sugar
  6. pinch salt

For the marshmallow fluff:

  1. 2 egg whites
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 80g sugar

Digestive biscuits to serve

Method

  1. Heat chocolate, cream and coffee in a saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a separate heatproof bowl placed over simmering water for 5 minutes or until thick and pale
  3. Slowly pour the chocolate and egg/sugar mixture and whisk on high for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and cool
  4. Pour into serving cups and chill in the fridge for at least two hours
  5. To make the marshmallow:
  6. Making sure your bowl is clean and dry, whisk together the egg whites and salt until foamy and at least doubled in size
  7. S-l-o-w-l-y incorporate the sugar, continually beating after each addition, to make sure the sugar has dissolved and you get stiff glossy peaks
  8. I have made meringue so many times and the only time I can control it, especially in such small cups, is to pipe it over the chocolate, but if you are feeling a bit on the wild side, go nuts doing this freehand
  9. Using a blowtorch, carefully toast the marshmallow and enjoy that comforting smell
  10. Serve with digestive biscuits either cut to shapes/soldiers or crumbled over the top

Chocolate brownies

A simple recipe from Bill Granger that will fill your home with the wonderful aroma of molten chocolate. You should always have all the ingredients already in your pantry. Which actually means you could (or should) always make brownies. Crispy on the top and soft and almost gooey in the centre, this basic recipe is also very adaptable (check out Rufus’ food and spirit guide to make them alcoholic).

Ingredients makes 16 squares

  1. 2 1/2 cups Caster sugar – I actually use half a cup less because I like them less sweet (and to make them healthier??)
  2. 2/3 cup Cocoa powder (no sugar just pure cocoa powder)
  3. 1/2 cup plain flour
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 4 eggs, beaten
  6. 200g butter, melted
  7. Generous pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter, small pinch if using salted butter. I am a firm believer that everything sweet tastes better with salt.
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 200g dark chocolate buttons
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 160C (315F)
  2. Stir the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl
  3. Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract and mix until combined
  4. Mix in the chocolate buttons
  5. Pour into a lined 22cm square tin and bake for 80 – 90 minutes. Stick a skewer or a raw stick of pasta in to the middle and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.
  6. While the block is still warm, cut into 16 pieces
  7. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream

Triple Chocolate Tea Cake

Triple Chocolate Tea Cake

I have been wanting to bake something for a while now. I’ve missed the smell of the flat as the cake cooks, and for something sweet to have with my afternoon cup of tea or coffee.

But what to make ? I have recently taken to making cupcakes and cookies just because it means that you can have small portions and also not make so much that D and I are forced to eat it all *wink*.

D’s immediate response when I asked him what he felt like ? CHOCOLATE.

So I decided on making the most chocolatey thing I could think of – a simple chocolate cake with chocolate buttons and chocolate butter icing.

I went searching for a recipe for a moist, light cake – nothing too heavy – and I found one that ticked the boxes, with the additional benefit of being able to be made in the same pan that you baked it in. I found this on the trusty joyofbaking site and then used a separate recipe for chocolate butter icing.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (195g) plain flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), sifted
  • 1/2 cup (50g) dark chocolate drops/buttons
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (250ml) warm water
  • 1 tbs lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 6 tbs butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbs milk

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and place rack in centre of the oven
  • In an ungreased 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, chocolate drops, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice/vinegar and vanilla extract
  • With a fork, mis all the ingredients together until well blended
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick (or raw stick of spaghetti) inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool
  • Once the cake is cool, ice with chocolate icing. You can even cut the cake in half horizontally and add an extra layer of icing in the middle for that extra chocolate hit
  • For the icing, beat the butter and salt together until light and creamy
  • Slowly beat in the icing sugar
  • Add 1 tbs milk at a time and beat well to get a softer consistency




chocolate has a temper

Well I think it has, after spending the better part of the weekend attempting to temper chocolate. I had originally had a craving for rocky road after seeing a slab of it the last time we visited Jones the Grocer. Never having attempted tempering chocolate before, I spent Saturday buying the things I needed – the ever reliable Sia Huat for the chocolate thermometer, and Sun Lik for a slab of Swiss dark chocolate (I decided to give the indulgence of Valrhona a skip until I had managed to get tempering right first).

First thing was to convert those damn Fahrenheit temperatures to Celsius which I am just not great at – so I had to write them down to make sure I didn’t have to faff about worrying about that when I was meant to be stirring.

The act of tempering chocolate is based on chemistry, which makes it more than just delicious for me. Chocolate contains cocoa butter, which, when melted can form six types of polymorphs – the ones we want to keep are the Beta of type V, which will result in a glossy coating that doesn’t melt in your fingers and has a nice “snap” when broken. Each crystal form has different melting and cooling temperatures, so by controlling the temperature at which you melt the chocolate and cool it to, you can help the Beta crystals (and not the other five types) to form.

The other really cool thing I learned about part of the tempering process is called “seeding”. This is where, after you have melted the chocolate the first time, you add (or “seed”) in already tempered chocolate, which the molten chocolate will imitate in its form.

The basics of tempering chocolate is to melt the chocolate to 46C, cool it while stirring to 29C and then reheat to 32C, when you can begin working with it to dip food in.

The things that I tried that made it successful were:
1) Don’t break your chocolate up in too small pieces (I still need to figure out why this helps)
2) My seeding chocolate was Lindt 70%, which is perfectly tempered
3) Patience when cooling the chocolate, and stirring constantly while it cools

Apart from that, the two evils of working with chocolate are water, which makes the chocolate seize, and overheating the chocolate (to more than 50C), which burns the chocolate and makes it unworkable.

I’ve got my rocky road setting on the bench (and not in the fridge!) and D cleaning the bowl of melted chocolate. What a lovely way to end the weekend.